Creating Women-friendly Workplace

According to Article 11 of "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women" of the United Nations, states parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in terms of employment and ensure that they enjoy the same rights on a basis of equality of men and women, including the right to employment, the right to freedom of choice, work benefits, and labor policy protection, and to protect women from discrimination against marital status at work. According to the data in 2019, although women have accounted for about 45% of the total labor force, and the number of employed women and their education level have been increasing, they are still limited in the workplace. This is not only because of the lack of support from social policies, workplace and family positions have also brought difficulties for women at work.

pay gap

Gender Injustice in the Workplace

There are more than 640,000 unpaid family carers in society, among which women account for more than 97%. We have noticed from our service experience that women are unable to get job opportunities due to their role as caregivers, and there are situations of "different pay for the same work" or fewer promotion opportunities. According to a survey conducted by the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Hong Kong in 2019, the proportion of women in the upper middle management level is very low, only 22%, and the number of men earning more than HK$20,000 per month in employment is as high as 60% compared to women. Although gender awareness has increased in our society, we can still experience various kinds of unfair treatment in different workplaces.


Changing gender inequality in the workplace starts with daily life. We must eliminate discrimination in the workplace against gender, family status, and sexual orientation. While the "Sex Discrimination Ordinance" and the "Family Status Discrimination Ordinance" are currently in place in Hong Kong, many people are not aware of the relevant legislation. In a survey conducted by the Equal Opportunities Commission in 2018, it was found that only 30% of employees and less than 20% of employers were aware of the "Family Status Discrimination Ordinance". Only 38.9% of employers were willing to hire women without family care responsibilities and only 16.7% were willing to employ mothers who need to take care of their children. This reflects that there is not much awareness of the ordinance, which fails to fully protect women's rights and negates their efforts and contributions.


Lack of Family-friendly and Labor Protection

The current "Employment Ordinance" stipulates that all employees must meet the requirement of "4 weeks of work, 18 hours per week" (4.18) to enjoy labor benefits, and transient workers, with a vast majority being women, cannot enjoy the relevant protection. According to the Census and Statistics Department, there were 203,500 employees in 2019, and 56.4% of them were grassroots women who were primary caregivers at home and had no choice but to give up their dreams to work as transient workers. These women lacked labor protection and were vulnerable to poverty, information, and background restrictions.


Promote Women's Employment, Strengthen Skills Training and Improve the unemployment protection system

Women's employment or entrepreneurship is hindered due to their family status, academic background, and lack of information, which prevents them from realizing their dreams and developing their careers. We have launched different women's employment and entrepreneurship support services and encouraged the government and the community to provide resources and chances for women to start their own businesses, such as offering job vacancy information, vocational skills training, community economic development, and childcare services, to provide women with opportunities and space to develop their strengths while taking care of their family.


Female grassroots caregivers are mainly engaged in transient or low-paying jobs, but there is a lack of protection in social welfare and labor policies. The financial pressure on women, working carers, and grassroots families during the pandemic underscores the dire need for a cash protection policy for the unemployed. According to a survey commissioned by Oxfam Hong Kong in 2021 and conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 60% of the respondents believe that the CSSA has failed to help the unemployed go through hard times. The government's short-term relaxation of the CSSA and unemployment assistance can only meet basic needs but could not address the issue of structural unemployment. After all, the function of the CSSA is to provide a safety net for basic living, not to respond to the needs of the unemployed.

our advocacy

Our Advocacy

  • Strengthen the protection of transient women workers, and explore the possibility of the relaxation of "418" regulations to enhance labor protection
  • Enhance relevant regulations and awareness education to eliminate discrimination against women in terms of work performance and position from a cultural perspective
  • Take the lead or legislate for gender-and family-friendly work environment measures by government, such as setting up physiological leaves, care leaves, and other arrangements
  • Offer more vocational training and support for employment and entrepreneurship to women so they are more likely to join
  • Promote the development of carer-friendly certification so that grassroots women can find jobs more easily
  • Create gender-friendly workplaces, such as establishing caregiving holidays, breastfeeding rooms, and flexible working hours for carers
  • Strive to eliminate all discrimination against women in the social welfare labor support system
  • Establish an "unemployment assistance fund" to directly support the public, which should include part-time and self-employed people in the form of alternative income to provide protection for workers, and study the establishment of an unemployment protection system, in the long run, to cope with various economic crises
our actions

Our Actions

  • Participating in "Anti-Poverty Alliance" to link up various organizations and partners to focus on different poverty issues
  • Linkage business sectors to organize gender awareness education program to promote gender equality
  • Launch women's employment and entrepreneurship support services, and provide vocational skills training, community economic development and childcare services
  • Lobby the community, compile policy responses and position papers, including responses to proposed policies, policy research reports, public opinion surveys, CEDAW shadow reports, etc
  • Organize community events for public education and advocacy, such as Community Poverty Summit and so on to raise public awareness on poverty-related issues

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